Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Review - Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Pages: 365
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release date: 2nd October 2014

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

My Review:
*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and NetGalley*

2/5 stars

New Vegas is a frozen city in a ruined planet. Natasha Kestal - aka Nat - is a blackjack dealer at one of the many casinos in New Vegas. Nat has a secret which, if it is discovered, could lead potentially to her death. She is looking for a way to escape New Vegas, for a way to 'the Blue', a land of myth and mystery which is a paradise with fresh water and sun. Nat hires some mercenaries led by Ryan Wesson - aka Wes - to get her safely to 'the Blue'. Will they survive the journey? Will they find 'the Blue'?

After reading the blurb I was excited to read this - what could be more exciting than a blackjack dealer on a frozen planet?
My excitement, however, was short lived.
The characters were okay and I didn't have any problems with Nat or Wes but I didn't really connect with either of them. I do think that it would have been better if they were older though - sixteen seemed a bit young, especially as Wes had been a soldier.
The plot was okay but slightly predictable. It did seem very rushed and I never felt drawn in.
A lot of things went unexplained, like why did the freeze happen? And how? How did the trashbergs form? Did people push rubbish into the oceans? New races of people were introduced - smallmen, sylphs and drakons, also some other variations, but none of them were really explained that well - where did they come from? When did they appear?
I would have liked to have seen more of Nat in the role of a blackjack dealer.

Overall this book had an interesting premise but in my opinion failed to deliver.